England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced its national preliminary squad for the ICC Men’s World Cup. However, the exclusion of some players by the host nation England turned out to be a talking point among critics and fans.
The uncapped Barbados-born all-rounder has starred in T20 leagues around the world but could not make it to the 15-man squad. Rather, Archer has been picked up to play Ireland and Pakistan in seven ODI games, beginning May 3 which precede the cut-off date for finalising the World Cup squad. If Archer makes the most of his opportunity, there are chances he could be in contention for the marquee event.
Another Barbados-born, yorker specialist Jordan is out of the squad but in contention. The 30-year-old has not played an ODI since 2016 and turned into a T20 specialist. His performance against West Indies in the shortest format earned him a recall for series against Ireland and Pakistan.
Joe Denly over Liam Dawson
Batsman Denly, who developed his leg-spin to be more than part-time, and left-arm spinner but a lower-order batsman Liam Dawson has emerged as potential back-ups to Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, with both named in England’s tour of Sri Lanka. However, with Denly’s name in the World Cup squad and ODI series against Ireland and Pakistan it cleared the air that Denly got an upper hand, making him a potential replacement.
Sam Billings vs James Vince
Given Alex Hales is the batsman, it raises the question who will be called if Hales or any other regular batsman gets injured. While several players have been rested for England’s ODI series against Ireland and T20I against Pakistan, both Sam Billings and James Vince have been included, bringing them in contention.
Following is the 15-man squad for the World Cup: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Meanwhile, the squads for ODI series against Pakistan, Ireland and T20I against Pakistan, beginning May 5, are as follows:
The 17-man squad against Pakistan: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
The 14-man squad for Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20I: Eoin Morgan (c), Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
England will begin its World Cup campaign against South Africa on the opening day, May 30 at The Oval, London.